The German federal system is conventionally understood as highly co-ordinated between federal and regional governments and aimed at producing a 'uniformity' of living conditions. This view has increasingly been challenged as new work focuses on innovation and diversity at the regional level, and also as a consequence of reforms to the federal system that took place in 2006. This contribution attempts to establish a more systematic basis for assessing and explaining the scope and significance of regional policy variation in Germany. Our findings suggest that - despite institutional structures that foster intense co-ordination between central and regional governments and apparent popular preferences for uniformity of policy outcomes - the extent of policy variation in Germany is much greater than conventionally understood and driven both by structural factors and partisan choices at the regional level.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of European public policy on 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13501763.2014.923022
- German federalism
- policy variation
- political parties